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1.  Effect of statin therapy on the progression of coronary atherosclerosis 
An increasing number of authors employing intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and virtual histology (VH-IVUS) have investigated the effect of statin use on plaque volume (PV) and plaque composition. However, inconsistent results have been reported. Therefore, we conducted a meta-analysis to determine the appropriate regimen of statins to effectively stabilize vulnerable coronary plaques.
Online electronic databases were carefully searched for all relevant studies. We compared mean values of PV and plaque composition between baseline and follow-up in patients receiving statin therapy. We pooled treatment effects and calculated mean differences (MD) with the 95% confidence interval (CI) using a random-effects model. By stratified analyses, we explored the influence of clinical presentation, dose and duration of statin treatment, and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) levels on the effects of statins.
Seventeen studies involving 2,171 patients were analyzed. Statin therapy significantly decreased PV (−5.3 mm3; 95% CI: –3.3 mm3 to −7.2 mm3; P < 0.001), without heterogeneity. When considering the dose and duration of statins used, only subgroups employing a high dose and long duration demonstrated a significant reduction in PV (p < 0.001). A significant decrease in PV was noted if achieved LDL-C levels were <100 mg/dL (p < 0.001). Statin treatment could induce a twofold decrease in PV in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) compared with that observed in patients with stable angina pectoris (SAP). A regressive trend was seen for necrotic core volume (MD: –2.1 mm3; 95% CI: –4.7 mm3 to 0.5 mm3, P = 0.11). However, statin use did not induce a significant change for fibrotic, fibro-fatty, or dense calcium compositions.
Our meta-analysis demonstrated that statin therapy (especially that involving a high dose and long duration and achieving <100 mg/dL LDL-C levels) can significantly decrease PV in patients with SAP or ACS. These data suggested that statins can be used to reduce the atheroma burden for secondary prevention by appropriately selecting the statin regimen. No significant change in plaque composition was seen after statin therapy.
PMCID: PMC3468364  PMID: 22938176
Atherosclerosis; Statin; Meta-analysis; Intravascular ultrasound
2.  A Novel Model of Atherosclerosis in Rabbits Using Injury to Arterial Walls Induced by Ferric Chloride as Evaluated by Optical Coherence Tomography as well as Intravascular Ultrasound and Histology 
This study aim was to develop a new model of atherosclerosis by FeCl3-induced injury to right common carotid arteries (CCAs) of rabbits. Right CCAs were induced in male New Zealand White rabbits (n = 15) by combination of a cholesterol-rich diet and FeCl3-induced injury to arterial walls. The right and left CCAs were evaluated by histology and in vivo intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and optical coherence tomography (OCT) examinations of 24 hours (n = 3), 8 weeks (n = 6), and 12 weeks (n = 6) after injury. Each right CCA of the rabbits showed extensive white-yellow plaques. At eight and 12 weeks after injury, IVUS, OCT, and histological findings demonstrated that the right CCAs had evident eccentric plaques. Six plaques (50%) with evident positive remodeling were observed. Marked progression was clearly observed in the same plaque at 12 weeks after injury when it underwent repeat OCT and IVUS. We demonstrated, for the first time, a novel model of atherosclerosis induced by FeCl3. The model is simple, fast, inexpensive, and reproducible and has a high success rate. The eccentric plaques and remodeling of plaques were common in this model. We successfully carried out IVUS and OCT examinations twice in the same lesion within a relatively long period of time.
PMCID: PMC3361737  PMID: 22665979
3.  Daming capsule restores endothelial dysfunction induced by high-fat diet 
Daming capsule (DMC), a traditional Chinese formula, has a lipid-modulating action with reduced adverse side effects as compared with other lipid lowering compounds. Since endothelial dysfunction often accompanies the hyperlipidemic state, we hypothesize that DMC might restore endothelial dysfunction produced by a high-fat (HF) diet. Importantly, we also investigate possible mechanisms involved in mediating the effects of DMC on vascular reactivity.
Rats were divided into four groups: control, HF diet, HF mixed DMC diet, HF mixed atorvastatin (ATV) diet. After 30 days, the thoracic cavity was exposed to remove the thoracic aorta for (i) histological examination; (ii) measurement of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) by western blot; and (iii) tension study of thoracic aortic ring.
HF diet induced significant attenuation in the contraction and relaxation of rat aortic rings. Treatment with DMC significantly improved the relaxation of the aortic rings as compared with those from HF rats (P < 0.05), which was abolished by a nonspecific NOS inhibitor L-NAME. Moreover DMC significantly restored the decrease in eNOS expression induced by HF diet. Similar results were found in histopathologic changes. DMC failed to restore the loss of vasocontraction of aorta explained by an impairment of ATP-sensitive K+ channels (KATP) on the structure and/or function. DMC exerted the same protective effect as ATV, a positive control drug, on vascular injury produced by HF diet.
DMC partially protects the aorta from HF-induced endothelial dysfunction via upregulation of the expression of eNOS.
PMCID: PMC3383478  PMID: 22443680
4.  Dynamic changes of inflammatory markers in brain after hemorrhagic stroke in humans: a postmortem study 
Brain research  2010;1342C:111-117.
This histopathologic case-control study was designed to characterize the dynamic changes in protein expression of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB)/p65 subunit, macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2), and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) in postmortem brains of patients with and without intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Thirty-six human brains from patients with ICH and six control brains were included in this study. We found that expression levels of NF-κB/p65, MIP-2, and MMP-9 were each upregulated on the injured side of the hippocampus at times ranging from 2 hr to 5 days post-ICH. Interestingly, the expression of all three markers was also upregulated on the uninjured side of the hippocampus and in the cerebellum, although to a lesser extent. These data suggest that inflammation occurs early and persists for several days after ICH in humans and could be involved in the progression of ICH-induced secondary brain damage.
PMCID: PMC2885522  PMID: 20420814
brain damage; intracerebral hemorrhage; MIP-2; MMP-9; NF-κB/p65

Results 1-4 (4)